Polyklinik :: Mental Market EP (Bedroom Research)

This blend of abstract hip-hop should not work—its beats so thoroughly exhausted by the Brainfeeder crew and deconstructed by its heirs—but Polyklinik’s variations are rich enough to deserve repeated plays.

Polyklinik’s Mental Market is a clear example of an out of place and out of time beat scene aesthetic that rehashes certain elements of the scene’s most central figures and, on its most interesting moments, messes up the formula a bit. Mental Market is, indeed, a record filled with repetition par excellence and it should not be digested on one sitting, lest you desire a dose of blunted beats right to the vein. This blend of abstract hip-hop should not work—its beats so thoroughly exhausted by the Brainfeeder crew and deconstructed by its heirs—but Polyklinik’s variations are rich enough to deserve repeated plays.

First track “Where The Reptilians Born” serves as an enticing introduction to the ten-track release. Just under two minutes, “Reptillians” is an almost ambient track that recalls L.A.’s Shlohmo at its most experimental. “Crsh” is the usual TAKE-influenced track that both systematically inflates and deflates itself. Basic ideas are not fully developed, but they are always attractively sustained by Polyklinik’s clean cut production. The album merely flirts with beat maximalism or trap. Instead it is happy to remain in the realm of merely functional tracks. While not offensive in their mediocrity, pieces like “Bass Mantra” are less interesting in comparison to the overall quality of the album. At times, it seems Polyklinik has ran out of ideas. But who could blame him? Were the beat scene’s affectations and sonic explorations malleable enough to be positively experimented with?

By the time Mental Market is over, one must conclude that the bar for experimentation is set particularly low. While acts such as Rustie and Flying Lotus are diving into trap and jazz respectively, the heirs of the beat scene seem to be lost. Artists such as Dorian Concept, so often paired up with names such as Hudson Mohawke and 1000names, have concentrated in synthesizing genres, making them an active part in their approach towards music. However, one must wonder if such a beat oriented scene should continue their constant foray into repetitive beats and blunted atmospheres. Polyklinik’s sound is not particularly noteworthy, but it is rich enough to be listened to along many luminaries of the scene. When even the remixes cannot recreate a track, one must ask if the problem lays with the remixer or with the artist himself.

Mental Market is available on Bedroom Research.

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